News

[Volunteer Recruitment] Clinical Study for Obesity - It's now inviting volunteers to join!

19/02/2024

× CLOSE

[Volunteer Recruitment] Clinical Study for Obesity - It's now inviting volunteers to join!

19/02/2024

Obesity is a major risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. AMG 133 is an investigational drug developed to treat obesity (a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems). We are looking for volunteers to join a clinical study to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, safety, tolerability and production of antidrug antibodies of AMG 133 in overweight or obese Chinese subjects. The study will be conducted in the HKU Phase 1 Clinical Trials Centre (“Phase 1 Centre”), which is located in Queen Mary Hospital.

For the detailed information, please visit: https://public.hkuctc.com/en/projects/detail/CTC2446

If you are interested to join this study, please register at the following link (study number CTC2446):
https://public.hkuctc.com/en/joinus/index/CTC2446

[Pharma Tips] Can I purchase weight loss products without any consultation?

12/02/2024

× CLOSE

[Pharma Tips] Can I purchase weight loss products without any consultation?

12/02/2024

[Study Completion] Clinical Study on Omicron-targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Was Completed!

14/11/2023

× CLOSE

[Study Completion] Clinical Study on Omicron-targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Was Completed!

14/11/2023

In May of 2022, the HKU medical research team collaborated with China National Biotec Group (Sinopharm) to conduct a large-scale clinical study on an Omicron-targeting COVID-19 vaccine. After 13 months of hard work, the study has finally been completed on 2 November 2023! HKU Clinical Trials Centre (HKU-CTC) was responsible for planning and managing the whole study which involved 1,800 volunteers. It was a real challenge to run such a large study within a tight timeframe. Extensive efforts were made to facilitate the study, including setting up a temporary research center at the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre to accommodate the large group of volunteers. We also announced the study and invited participation across the city by all means, such as social media channels, press releases, newspaper/bus/minibus/MTR advertisements, and leaflet distribution. We sincerely thank all our volunteers for their tremendous support, and the research team for their unwavering efforts. Without the extensive support by the public, this remarkable goal could never be accomplished!

[Pharma Tips] Can I take the expired medicine?

08/09/2023

× CLOSE

[Pharma Tips] Can I take the expired medicine?

08/09/2023

When we are ill, we will usually purchase a whole box of over-the-counter medicine home. After taking a few doses and upon recovery, we will stop the medication and keep the excess stock home to reduce wastage. However, it is seldom for us finish the whole box so the medicine may expire at last. Are expired drugs still safe to take?

Although the effects of expired medicine on human body are uncertain, taking them can be risky. The strength of expired drugs may decrease or worse, they might decompose into harmful substances. Taking expired drugs may delay the proper treatment and aggravate the illnesses.

Read the expiry date every time before taking a drug. Expired ones should be disposed at once. Even if the drug is not expired yet, check if there is any unusual colour, shape and odor. If in doubt, you should never take risk and instead, throw the medicine away.

 

[Pharma Tips] Can I take medicine during pregnancy?

08/08/2023

× CLOSE

[Pharma Tips] Can I take medicine during pregnancy?

08/08/2023

Reports on birth defects due to taking the medicines by mistake by pregnant women often appeared on the media. That is why a number of pregnant women avoid taking any kind of medication even if they are ill, as they are in fear of their effects on the fetus. Is it still correct in this era with well-developed modern medicine?

Women with serious or chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and seizure, might need to continue taking the prescribed medicines as usual. That is because the health risks of stopping medication might be higher than that of taking medication during pregnancy.

Although some medicines are safe to use during pregnancy, it is true that some will have harmful effects on the fetus. A drug’s effect on the fetus is determined mainly by drug potency, dosage, duration of drug exposure, and placental permeability, etc. Never take the over-the-counter medication or drugs given by others on your own without getting prior professional advice. Check the drug label to learn about the possible risks for pregnant women. There are some medicines which have proved to cause birth defects or effects on the fetus, such as:

  • Cancer drugs such as thalidomide and methotrexate
  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline and streptomycin
  • ACE inhibitors which lower blood pressure
  • Anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin
  • Seizure drugs such as phenytoin and phenobarbitone
  • Acne medicines containing isotretinoin

Be extra careful when taking medication during pregnancy. No need to worry too much about drugs. Do not be afraid to see the doctor before it is too late which might have a more serious effect on the fetus. Inform your doctor of the gestational age and the doctor will give you advice on the safe use of medicine.

 

[Pharma Tips] Why am I getting sunburn even after applying sunscreen?

08/07/2023

× CLOSE

[Pharma Tips] Why am I getting sunburn even after applying sunscreen?

08/07/2023

Walking on the streets under the scorching heat of the sun, the skin burns easily. People will take actions to protect themselves from sunburn and lower the risks of getting skin cancer on days when the UV index is high. However, why are we still getting sunburn even when adequate protective measures are taken? Do not blame your sunblock because the medication you took may be the culprit!

Taking photosensitive drugs will make your skin more sensitive and vulnerable to sunburn. This is what we called “photosensitivity”. UV radiation in sunlight reacts with the photosensitive drug to produce chemicals harmful to the skin cells, causing inflammatory reactions. Symptoms include itching, redness, pain and rash. Since the symptoms are similar to that of eczema, most do not realize that it is photosensitivity reaction. Examples of medicines that can cause photosensitivity reaction include:

  • Cancer drugs such as thalidomide and methotrexate
  • Antibiotics such as levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and piroxicam
  • Isotretinoins
  • Diuretics such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide

This is not a complete list. There are numerous kinds of photosensitive medicines and not every person who uses these medicines has a reaction. If you notice that your skin is more sensitive to the sun after started on certain medication, do not stop taking it suddenly. Instead, talk to your doctor for further assessment. You can also protect your skin by wearing sun-protective clothing, carrying an umbrella or avoid going out when the UV light is the strongest.

 

[Study Completion] Phase 1 Clinical Trial on Eye Drop for Myopia Control Was Completed!

29/06/2023

× CLOSE

[Study Completion] Phase 1 Clinical Trial on Eye Drop for Myopia Control Was Completed!

29/06/2023

COVID-19 nasal spray vaccine offers the first line of defense against virus

15/06/2023

× CLOSE

COVID-19 nasal spray vaccine offers the first line of defense against virus

15/06/2023

[Pharma Tips] Which is better, injection or oral medication?

08/06/2023

× CLOSE

[Pharma Tips] Which is better, injection or oral medication?

08/06/2023

When we were young, we were often educated by our parents that an injection is better than oral medication as it is more effective in curing the illness. The younger we could only suffer the pain of injection. Why doesn’t the doctor give us injection as often as before after we grow up?

Oral medication and injection are two different methods of administration. They have their own pros and cons. Oral medications are the most economical and convenient way of administration. Taking the medicine orally is convenient and patients can simply take it at home. Injection usually acts faster on bodies and has a shorter induction period. For people who have trouble swallowing pills, injection is the only option. Medicines like insulin is a protein which will be digested in our stomach so it cannot be orally administered. It is usually administered by subcutaneous injection.  The injectable antipsychotic drugs have long-lasting effects and the patients only need to take them once in a few weeks. It is ideal for patients who have difficulties in following the dosing schedule and they can still keep up with the treatment.

Is injection or oral medication better? There is no absolute answer to this question. It depends on the drug and also the conditions of the patient. Follow the instructions of the doctor and choose the safest way will do.

 

[Pharma Tips] Can the blending of Western and traditional Chinese medicine boost treatment?

08/05/2023

× CLOSE

[Pharma Tips] Can the blending of Western and traditional Chinese medicine boost treatment?

08/05/2023

Hong Kong is a city where the cultures of east and west meet. A lot of people will combine both traditional Chinese and western treatments when they are ill. Is this synergistic or antagonistic?

Although Chinese medicine might seem milder, the fact is all of them have their active ingredients and they might react with the chemicals in the western medicine. Some said they should be taken at least two hours apart. However, if the effect is long-lasting, two hours might not be sufficient to avoid the drug interactions.

The best way is to consult your doctor before deciding on combining the two kinds of treatment. No matter such method is strengthening or weakening the efficacy, they will both increase the burden of your body especially the liver. Never make the decision on your own but seek professional advice first.